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MENAFN - Arab News - 21/06/2009

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Weqaya Takaful Insurance and Reinsurance Co. made its debut on the Saudi stock market with a bang yesterday. Shares in Weqaya soared 288 percent on the first day of trading compared to their IPO (initial public offering) price. The stock topped volumes with 23.65 million shares changing hands, almost three times the number of shares sold in the initial public offering in April. The value of Weqaya traded shares exceeded SR850 million.

The SR10 Weqaya shares opened at SR29.80 and reached a high of SR39.90 and a low of SR28.70 before settling at SR38.80 at the close of trading yesterday.

The Saudi company, which is trading in the Insurance sector, sold 8 million shares at SR10 each in its initial public offering.

However, heavyweight petrochemical and banking stocks led Saudi Arabia's stock market to a negative close for the second straight session.

The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) closed 0.56 percent or 33.53 points down at 5,956.76 points but still up 24 percent so far this year.

The stock market turnover was over SR6.72 billion yesterday.

Sector movement was mainly negative, with only six of the 15 sectors closing with gains yesterday, ranging from 0.29 percent in Multi-Investment to 1.92 percent for Hotel & Tourism. Losses, on the other hand, ranged from 0.41 percent in Media and Publishing to 1.75 percent for Insurance. Market breadth was negative, with 42 advancers and 76 decliners posting an AD ratio of 0.55.

In the Insurance sector the other gainers yesterday were the Mediterranean & Gulf Insurance & Reinsurance Co. and Al-Sagr Cooperative Insurance Co.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) shares ended 0.35 percent down at SR71. In the Banks & Financial Services sector, the only gainer yesterday was The Saudi Investment Bank as its shares increased 0.28 percent to close at SR18.05. All other companies in this sector were in the red.

"A negative close of 33 points after testing the support level at the 5,900 area, while liquidity came at a shy level as investors are taking the sideline before the second quarter earning reports. Technically, the close is below the Bollinger Bands middle line and below the short term 5 days exponential moving average (for the second day) may signal deeper losses if SABIC dips below SR69 on a closing basis in near term," the Jeddah-based Financial Transaction House (FTH) said in its market commentary yesterday.

By Khalil Hanware


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